Ethiopia World Cup star Getaneh Gibeto was knocked out by a punch that went unpunished in the South African Premiership this weekend.
Kaizer Chiefs and South Africa centre-back Morgan Gould floored the Wits University substitute with a left punch to the face during the second half.
Groggy Gibeto carried on after lengthy medical treatment but the referee took no action against Gould at Soccer City stadium in Soweto.
Gould apologised after a match defending champions Chiefs won 2-1 through a late own goal from Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs.
"I would like to apologise to the Wits player that I punched -- it was a freak accident," said one of the 'hard men' of South African football.
Gibeto hopes to play for Ethiopia in a World Cup play-off against Nigeria on November 16 after missing the 2-1 first-leg loss at home last month through injury.
Chiefs spurned several first-half chances before Zimbabwean Kingston Nkhatha nodded the home side into an early second half lead.
Ryan Chapman, a substitute for former Manchester City striker Benjamin 'Benjani' Mwaruwari, levelled on 66 minutes with a snap close-range shot.
Seeking a first title, unfashionable Johannesburg side Wits looked likelier winners until a Lehlohonolo Majoro header struck the post and went into the net off Josephs.
Chiefs are sixth on the table after 10 rounds -- five points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and three adrift of second-place SuperSport United.
Sundowns triumphed 3-1 at Pretoria University in a local derby while SuperSport used home advantage to win by the same score against lowly Golden Arrows.
Zimbabwean Cuthbert Malajila became the leading Premiership scorer this season with five goals after volleying a cross from compatriot Khama Billiat into the Pretoria net on three minutes.
Grant Kekana promptly equalised but Billiat put Sundowns ahead again on the half hour, netting off a superb long pass from Bongani Zungu.
Pretoria were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Mpho Matsi was yellow carded a second time and Rodney Ramagalela scored a late victory-clinching third goal.
SuperSport put a three-goal hammering at Platinum Stars last weekend behind them to outplay second-last Arrows in Pretoria township Atteridgeville
An early Bennett Chenene goal for the hosts was cancelled by Philani Shange before second-half strikes from Bradley Grobler and David Mathebula secured maximum points.
Platinum grabbed a late 2-1 win at Maritzburg United and Free State Stars' three-game losing run ended with an own goal giving them a 1-0 home victory over Polokwane City.
AmaZulu fought back to draw 1-1 at home against Bloemfontein Celtic while Finnish goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola starred as Ajax Cape Town forced a 0-0 draw at Mpumalanga Black Aces.